Recycling – An Ethical Choice

North African decor and Moroccan carpets are famous all over the world. But what’s not obvious to the eyes of most is the peculiar features of the objects that make them recognisable.

Would you say that those objects are not only unique but ethically friendly?

From the north to the south of Morocco, during your tour, you will see the clever use of all possible resources. Recycling fabric scraps into the famous Moroccan carpets, turning bicycle chains into snails when all rolled up and transforming bottles to vases.

Moroccan Carpets / Recycled art
Photo courtesy of Nancy Williams under Creative Commons Attribution.

You will get accustomed to this showcase style on the way to the desert, all sellers show their merchandise out of their shops.

Wherever you might be: on the coast, in the desert, imperial cities or on the Atlas mountains…up-cycled materials are a constant resource.

Wasting Is Culturally Shameful

Farmers collect random food scraps early in the morning. They throttle their way around the city on the back of mules. Street vendors wash plastic bottles and recycle them as cleaning product containers.

But we’re here to talk about the skill of revealing the beauty and the better it is if this is also ethically and environmentally sustainable.

Naivety gives birth to some of the items which are so largely popular in web communities, that give colour to our Instagram feeds and contributes to a customised-shopping experience…who, as a child, hasn’t been an artist or an engineer in the making? Creating robots from random metal parts, sticking legos to create sculptures?

My first choice as a textile lover is the boucherouite carpets. Recycled carpet decor and fashion items, as many other design passionates, I can’t ignore the charm of these craftsmanship examples.

Moroccan Carpets: Boucherouite

Boucherouite carpets, as anything typical of Morocco, are a Berber (Amazigh) rag rug style that, from the footsteps of the Atlas mountains to Ouarzazate, can be found anywhere.

Made in different colours and shapes, forming geometric and symmetrical patterns, Moroccan boucherouite carpets are such a happy accent in any home.

Interior decor enthusiasts are making this item a bohemian must have, and the major decor gurus are crazy about them!

Handmade and handwoven, they magically come in their unique shape on a loom.

Recycling carpets Boucherouite style
Moroccan Boucherouite Carpets

Scraps of fabric meticulously knotted combined with traditional weaving techniques that create suggestive patterns, and recreate the colors of the Amazigh villages. From Oulmés, passing through all the mid and high Atlas, to Tizi’n’Tichka and then ease into the desert through Ouarzazate, these artworks will be part of the landscape.

With the enormous amount of work they need to be completed, you can be sure of the authenticity and uniqueness of your product.

Who would know that old shirts and thread leftovers could be recycled into such a suggestive piece of ethical decor?

Recycling Moroccan Carpets

We know how famous Moroccan leather goods and carpets are. The combo of these two elements give birth to beautifully crafted accessories like boots or backpacks, but not only.

Essaouira is shining as the creative capital of the country, home to the Gnaoua festival but not only.

Maybe the breeze from the ocean is bringing not only clear thoughts but magic ideas.

The strong wind that is frequently blowing in Essaouira has the power to stir creativity but the small and quiet medina will give you time to visit with no hassle, encouraging to slow down.

upcycled moroccan carpet chairs
Up-cycled Moroccan Carpet Chairs

Enter in the shop, talk with the artisan, and sip a glass of tea with them, you will find yourself having this philosophical approach in a shopping experience, with the right person.

Cheklati Essaouira (Photos are from his Instagram profile cheklati_essaouira) has this card up his sleeve, upholsterer with that rustic twist that restyles from car seats to luxurious thrones.

Since he started in 1991 he took on different projects and became one of the most professional craft men in his city, with dedication and diligence. Documenting his glamorous work on his social media on which he is pretty active and he has a precious assistant in his dog.

Metal Sculptures

Recycling and up-cycling with metalwork also creates art. Blacksmiths and artisans save any scrap material to create these mythical, animal, or humanoid figurines.

Using welding machines, screwdrivers and clamps they give shape to these funny, intriguing characters.

Recycling in Morocco / Metal Figurines
Recycled Metal Figurines 

These figurines are the second most popular, after Moroccan carpets, you can see them all over the country, made with spoons, forks, bike chains, teapots, old razors. It’s an art born in poverty, we do not know who invented it since many are claiming to be the first ones and state to be copied by others.

For sure, every craftsman contributed with a pinch of their own creativity to make these bric-a-brac recycling treasures a perfect example of Moroccan handmade market.

The most incredible thing is where these sculptures are born. The workplaces of the artisans are shops carved in a wall and the spaces so tiny that only a man can fit most of the times. If the laboratory is not big enough, the street will be the lab for the day.

Recycling art in Morocco WorkingHands
Working Hands

Responsible Tours And Tourism

There is always a solution, let’s use things out of their purpose and if we do not need it probably someone else does.

Touring Morocco will not just leave you a picture of vast landscapes, but of its people and a lesson to learn and master: be in the present.

Every city has its own charisma, from Chefchaouen to Agadir, Fez or Merzouga, it will feel -and will be- enriching.

If you are looking for inspiration, that’s what you’ll find in your personalised tour. You will have a tailored-to-your-needs itinerary.

Put together by the knowledgeable SO Morocco team of course.

Touring is a responsibility towards the hosting country, and by the end of the trip, you will have another perspective.

 

Thank you BY KECH SOUKS for writing this beautiful blog for us here at So Morocco.

 

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